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Undergraduate Business Students Gain Global Perspective

July 29, 2010
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Students in factory

The group viewing the production of parmigiano
reggiano cheese at the Ferrarini S.p.A. production in
Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Undergraduate students gained an international perspective on operations management in addition to insight on Italian theater and culture as part of a four week study abroad program this summer.  Sixteen students participated in the trip based at an international study center in Milan, Italy.

The program was directed by Luca Donno, adjunct professor teaching in the management and   management science departments.  The course included three hours of class time each day along with organized field trips to some of Italy's most prominent companies to observe and experience business operations and management firsthand.

Students began with an orientation trip to Lake Garda and the city of Sirmione, where they prepared for class and explored Italian culture by visiting Roman ruins and medieval castles.

One of the field trips included a visit to the Ferrero S.p.A. factory in Alba, manufacturer of  Rocher Chocolates,  Nutella, Tic Tac mints, and other confectioner products.  Students toured the facilities and had the opportunity to ask company executives questions on topics ranging from production to marketing.

Students also visited the Ferrarini S.p.A. factory in Reggio Emilia.  The company is one of the world's leading ham, Parmigiano Reggiano, and balsamic vinegar producers and exporters.  "The students were in awe at the sight of 33,000 rounds of  Parmigiano Reggiano stacked on the aging racks soaring 40 feet in the air.  To see the operations of this international company firsthand was an experience that can never be duplicated in the classroom." said Karen Donno, senior advisor for Undergraduate Business Programs who coordinated the trip. 

Study Abroad students in Milan

During the trip students climbed the stairs to the top
of the Duomo (main cathedral) of Milan to see the
statuary on top of the cathedral and the view
of the city.  

Silvio Nardi Vineyards, producers of Brunello wines, offered students a chance to expand their knowledge of the business operations of fine wines.  The group toured both the vineyards, located in Montalcino in the heart of the Tuscan wine country, and the production facilities.  While traveling through Tuscany, the students made stops in the historic cities of Siena and Florence, absorbing the art and architecture so unique to the Italian heartland.

Students earned management course credits and could select an additional course in Italian theater and culture taught by Maria Stampino, associate professor of the University's department of modern languages and literatures.

The students included Manuel Carreno, Lizette, Castillo, Michael Chen, David Chonillo, Vincent DeJesus, Michaelangelo Dooley, Trevor Fiorentino, Meaghan Gaynor, Tavis Goodnight, Lisette Hichez, Jacques Lucas, Taylor Ponder, Samantha Post, Natalie Rodriguez, Nicholas Turner, and Mariam Zafar.

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